Well last night’s lineup might as well have been thrown in the trash before the games even began. The Angels essentially started their Triple-A roster with none of our Angels in the lineup. We did get a home run from the Pirates’ Josh Bell, but our stack wasn’t complete as David Freese did not start either. Sonny Gray was lit up early and often, however Lance Lynn delivered five innings of one-run ball against a weak Cubs lineup, so he certainly held his part as the second starter. Lineups are extremely difficult to predict in the final days of the regular season as the playoff teams are already set with the exceptions of the Rockies holding off the Brewers for the second NL Wild Card spot. That said, let’s try our best to put together a lineup of players who should start for their respective teams tonight!
P – Stephen Strasburg (WAS) – $12,000 vs. PIT
Tonight we are going to go heavy on the pitching as I have spotted a couple of low cost, low owned stacks that I think have big upside tonight. Strasburg did not fare too well his last time out as he gave up three runs with six strikeouts in just five innings, however prior to that outing he has yielded zero earned runs over his last four starts combined. Strasburg still owns a 33.3% strikeout rate in the month of September, the highest of any month this season, and could face a very weak Pirates’ lineup as they clearly have nothing to play for in this matchup.
P – Trevor Bauer (CLE) – $9,500 vs. CWS
Bauer has been doing some serious pitching as of late, giving up two earned runs or less in four of his last five starts while he has posted a 28% strikeout clip across four September starts. Bauer will take on a strikeout-happy White Sox lineup tonight, a group that has punched out in 26.3% of their at-bats against right-handed pitching over the last month. The last time Bauer faced Chicago, his hurled 6.1 innings of two-run ball to go along with nine strikeouts. A similar performance would be just dandy in this matchup tonight.
C – Brett Nicholas (TEX) – $3,100 vs. OAK
I am betting on Nicholas getting the start behind the plate tonight as Robinson Chirinos has all been shut down for the season with a hamstring injury. The Rangers will face A’s right-hander Raul Alcantara tonight, a pitcher who has pitched to an 8.03 FIP while allowing 2.25 HR/9 clip to lefties in limited action this season. Nicholas owns an impressive .209 ISO, .830 OPS and a .349 wOBA on the season against right-handed pitching and will be therefore be a low-owned, high-upside play in a Rangers stack this evening.
1B – Joey Gallo (TEX) – $3,800 vs. OAK
Gallo is the epitome of a GPP play. He brings a huge .336 ISO, .856 OPS and a .356 wOBA against righties into play with him tonight, however he has also struck out in 36.2% of his at-bats against righties as well. That said, this is a GPP type of lineup and I will take the power and run against a poor right-hander tonight. Gallo is interestingly 0 for 4 with four strikeouts against Alcantara, however this guy just needs one swing to make a world of difference in a lineup and that’s what we will look for tonight.
2B – Cesar Hernandez (PHI) – $3,400 vs. NYM
Another team that I believe will see low ownership in a great matchup are the Phillies. They will face Mets’ right-hander Matt Harvey tonight, a guy who has pitched to a 7.98 FIP while allowing a .425 wOBA and a 2.82 HR/9 clip to lefties this season. Hernandez should hit out of the leadoff spot tonight while bringing a solid .771 OPS, .339 wOBA and 11 stolen bases against righties into action tonight. There is plenty of value to be had with Hernandez against a struggling Harvey tonight.
3B – Matt Chapman (OAK) – $3,200 vs. TEX
While the Rangers are in a great spot tonight, the A’s are as well as they take on left-hander Martin Perez. Perez struggles against righties at home as he sports a 5.38 FIP to them there while allowing a .385 wOBA to them there as well. Enter Chapman who sports a .213 ISO against righties this season, but also owns a .292 ISO and a .389 wOBA against lefties over the last month. More value to be had here.
SS – Freddy Galvis (PHI) – $3,300 vs. NYM
Galvis brings a solid amount of power/speed upside to the table tonight against Harvey. It was already explained how poor Harvey has been to lefties, and the switch-hitting Galvis has hit ten homers, 18 doubles, five triples and has stolen 11 bases against them and 14 overall. He is expected to hit second right behind Hernandez tonight.
OF – Nick Williams (PHI) – $3,600 vs. NYM
Finishing off the Phillies’ three-man stack is the lefty-swinging Williams. Williams has touched righties up to the tune of a .202 ISO, .818 OPS and a .345 wOBA this season while making hard contact 39.6% of the time as well. He also has 24 extra-base hits against righties this season in 218 at-bats and will likely hit third in the order and therefore should have plenty of run-producing chances with Hernandez and Galvis aboard.
OF – Nomar Mazara (TEX) – $4,600 vs. OAK
Continuing with the Rangers, Mazara is of course in a nice spot tonight against Alcantara. He brings a rock-solid .198 ISO, .792 OPS and a .334 wOBA against righties into play with him tonight. He’s been quiet at the plate lately, but he is approaching 100 RBIs on the season and has crossed the 20-homer threshold, so don’t sleep on his power in this matchup tonight.
OF – Willie Calhoun (TEX) – $3,500 vs. OAK
Last up is young outfielder Willie Calhoun. Calhoun hasn’t seen much playing time at the big league level this season, but he crushed Triple-A righties. Calhoun posted a .941 OPS against righties at the Triple-A level this season while clubbing 23 homers, 24 doubles and five triples overall. He is a cheap addition to a high-upside Rangers stack tonight.